Warning: today’s blog post is entirely self-serving. In a previous blog post “Thinking About Frontier Markets
”, I made an argument that you can measure the sophistication of a country’s social contract between government, institutions and its citizens by the acceptance of traffic laws. I note, with only a little bit of smugness, that James O’Malley of CityMetric independently had the same idea and backed it up with data. I am happy to ride on the coattails of someone else’s hard work, so feel free to check out his conclusions HERE
To be entirely fair, Mr. O’Malley’s data suggests a correlation, not causation. In his own correction, he concedes that the data may suggest a measurement of trust between people rather than government institutions, but the general point still stands. Obedience to traffic laws is a good measure of an accepted social contract.